Bangkok: Surin Pitsuwan, former Asean secretary general, has denied a report that he intends running for leadership of the Democrat Party, nurtured by an ambition to be Thailand’s prime minister, said a media report on Saturday.

The seven-time Democrat Party MP said the report published on Friday on Thai Rath daily was baseless, the Bangkok Post reported.

The daily carried a report that Surin had looked at contesting the party leadership. Taking the party leader’s post would take him a step closer to vying for the prime ministerial seat.

Surin admitted he had a conversation with the reporter who ran the story. However, he insisted he never spoke of a desire to contest Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva.

The former Asean secretary general said the reporter met him by chance. After publishing the story, the reporter conceded he had jumped the gun as he had personally wanted Surin to lead the Democrats.

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